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A Sip of Tea and a Shared History Between China and Romania

With cups of tea being presented to Romanian guests from different walks of life, Chinese Ambassador to Romania Han Chunlin said with a smile that “through tasting tea together, we become better friends” during a tea salon held at the grand hall in the Chinese embassy in Bucharest.

The tea served to the guests, including politicians, ambassadors, sinologists, think-tankers and media reporters, was made from tea leaves from Emei Mountain in Leshan in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province.

Emei Mountain is emblematic in China for its spiritual strength to gather scholars, writers and poets to visit and exchange philosophical ideas by tasting tea, admiring flowers and vegetation, and practicing calligraphy and traditional painting skills in ancient times, Guo Jie, an official of Leshan, explained to the Romanian guests during the Cultural Gala and Tea Salon on Tuesday.

One thousand years later, in our days, Emei Mountain still represents the perfection of natural beauty, flavors of the most refined tea and Buddhist wisdom, said Guo, continuing that Leshan is famous for its giant panda habitat, one of the four huge Buddha statues in China, and worldwide known green tea which she called “a peace messenger to the entire world.”

Kung Fu performances, the musical instrument guzheng, and traditional calligraphy and painting activities were presented at the salon, part of the “Seeing China” series of cultural events to bring together Chinese and locals to understand better the Chinese way of thinking, philosophy of life and wisdom.

“The tea brings peace to the world,” wrote an artist in calligraphic style under the eyes of the audience.

Martial arts performances of the Wudang Wushu artists from the city of Shiyan, central China’s Hubei Province, illustrated a physical approach to Chinese philosophy — an exercise of the mind and body to reinforce strength and coordination.

On the occasion, Han briefed the status of China-Romania relations and vowed that China will continue the bilateral friendship. “The China-Romania friendship has a huge potential, and cooperation has wide prospects; We are open to working together with all kinds of social categories in Romania along the Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Central and Eastern European Countries platform to achieve new progress for the benefit of the two peoples.”

Wu Hailong, president of the China Public Diplomacy Association, underscored the traditional relations between China and Romania and promised further development. “Cultural and people-to-people exchanges have been expanding. The Romanians have been interested in martial arts and learning Wushu for over 50 years. The China-Romania friendship has passed the test of time and obstacles,” Wu said.

“The association will work shoulder to shoulder with you to promote interpersonal and cultural exchanges from a deeper and wider perspective,” Wu, who led a delegation of the association in Bucharest, told the guests.

Emil Constantinescu, a former president of Romania, and Adrian Nastase, a former Romanian prime minister, reminisced about important moments and the mutual support between the two countries throughout their shared history, with the latter inviting everybody attending the salon to “look back and learn from histories, to become wiser for the future.”

Gabriela Cretu, deputy president of the committee for culture, arts and mass media of the Romanian Senate, said that “China has brought the biggest contribution to the progress of humankind by alleviating hundreds of millions of people out of poverty,” adding that “we must also learn to view on long-term, wide perspective, like the Chinese.”

Another former Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said that economic relations should develop more because China has tremendous potential. “Friendship, cooperation and trust are the foundation of a better world,” Dancila said.